Luis Reece struck 69 and Mattie McKiernan hit a career-best 52, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Derbyshire from a first red-ball defeat of the season in their final Bob Willis Trophy game against Lancashire.
A quick flourish early in the day from George Balderson (61 not out) and Danny Lamb (50 not out) allowed Lancashire to declare 356-6, setting Derbyshire a record-chase of 381 to win on the final day.
A 98-run stand between Reece and Leus du Plooy (34) gave Derbyshire hope of avoiding defeat, which was intensified by McKiernan’s knock late in the day, but Jack Morley (4-62), Lamb (3-12) and Tom Hartley (3-79) picked up the required wickets.
Having seen their hopes of a place in the final dashed after failing to secure a batting point in their first innings, Derbyshire went into the final morning still hoping to top the North Group and end the red-ball campaign unbeaten.
However, after some expansive hitting from Balderson and Lamb, which saw the latter reach his maiden first-class half-century, the hosts declared on 356-6, meaning Derbyshire would have to outdo even their record-breaking chase at Trent Bridge to secure victory in Liverpool.
Things got off to a bad start, with Billy Godleman (4) and Wayne Madsen (9) falling early, but the partnership of Reece and du Plooy steadied the Derbyshire innings and saw them get to lunch with no further casualties.
After the interval, the pair began to accelerate their scoring, with Reece arriving at 50 in 127 balls, before hitting a further 19 runs off the next eight deliveries before falling to Morley.
And just three balls later, du Plooy was gone, as he was trapped lbw by Hartley, while the wickets of Fynn Hudson-Prentice (1), Matt Critchley (7), Harvey Hosein (6) and Anuj Dal (3) were also shared between the pair in the following nine overs.
As in the first innings, McKiernan showed great resilience to frustrate the Lancashire bowlers, and his 60-run partnership with Sam Conners (9) brought the visitors tantalisingly close to a stalemate.
The all-rounder reached his maiden first-class half-century in 129 balls, but not before Conners was trapped lbw by Morley, before McKiernan himself was struck in front to end the game.
Derbyshire finish in second place in the North Group, with Yorkshire top, while the Bob Willis Trophy final will be contested between Essex and Somerset at Lord’s later this month.
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